Sunday, July 23, 2000 -- Big Bear Lake - Bruceton Mills, WV
Big Bear Lake Mt. Bike Classic
Story by Marty Lamp, photos by Dave McKain and Diann Clothier
Any Big Bear Lake mountain biking veteran will tell you that race director Mark Schooley has definietly been busy over the past year grooming and laying down some quality trails.
This years course was packed full of fresh singletrack and great,
technical climbing and descending. Overall, though, it was fast, even
with some mud bogs from the previous weeks rain.
After 1-2 miles on rolling pavement and then gravel roads, a quick right took racers into the woods and onto the single track. Soft dirt lined the trails that were filled with tight turns, roots, rocks, and the occasional mud hole.
Although there seemed to be no long, steep, sustained climb, much of
this course was gradually ascending, with short rolling hills in
between. Everyone was treated to the "White Pines" section with its
fast corners and banked turns, and one long, technically demanding
downhill that was half double track and half stream bed.
As the pack hit the woods after the start, Jeremiah Bishop(1:28:16) and Chis Eatough(1:28:26) quickly took to the front. It was a game of cat-and-mouse for the two speedsters all the way to the finish.
"What a great race!", said a smiling Bishop afterwards. "Chris and I
were trading positions all the way through the course - he would grab
the lead, but I would never lose sight of him, then I would jump in
front, and he would always be right behind me"
"Chris was in the lead when I noticed the final section. I just kept my momentum through a small climb and was able to pass (Eatough) right before we entered the tight section, and it worked out for me. I've lost a few races in the final 200 yards purely because I didn't know where the finish line was."
Bishop, always quick with a smile and full of humility, has won the
last four WVMBA Points Series Races. Eatough finished in second place,
while Kevin Leyh(1:38:59) finished third for the Experts, and
The Men's Vet Ex class was won by third place overall finisher
Mike Capraro(1:36:26), while Matt Ross(1:41:08) crossed
the line second for the Vet Ex's, and Allen Moore(1:43:27)
Lisa Capinpin(2:14:50) got the win for the Women Sports, and Dowain Ford(1:54:09) grabbed the top spot for the Vet Sports. Charlie Brand(57:25) won the Men's Junior Sport race, and Brandon Elkins(1:00:33) took the win for the Juniors under 14.
Afterwards, everyone was treated to a fine pasta dinner and cold drinks, and some great cash and prizes were handed out to the winners. Thanks go out to Mark Schooley, Big Bear Lake, and all the volunteers who helped out along the way.